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The Mary and George Bloch Collection: Part IV  
Bonham's, Hong Kong, 28 November 2011: Lot 74 

Lot 74


Lot 74
Treasury 5, no.721 (‘A Splash of Turquoise’)

A turquoise-blue aventurine-glass snuff bottle

Translucent turquoise-blue glass with surface inclusions of aventurine-glass; with a flat lip and recessed flat foot, surrounded by a protruding rounded footrim
Height: 4.28 cm
Mouth/lip: 0.70/1.15 cm
Stopper: tourmaline; vinyl collar

Provenance: Robert Kleiner (1993)

Treasury 5, no.721

Of the full range of aventurine-splashed glass snuff bottles, those in sapphire-blue are the most common. This simple form could have been produced at any time during the snuff bottle period but, given our understanding of this distinctive material, we believe it probably dates from the Qianlong period. It seems that the aventurine-glass was reheated to a temperature high enough to produce green halos around many of the gold splashes, with some of the smaller inclusions turned entirely to green (see the discussion under Treasury 5, no. 719.

On one main side there is a distinct concave impression that coincides with a complete absence of gold splashes. The concavity is too irregular and too far off centre to have been intended as an integral snuff dish. It appears to be a repair. We find another close to it, on the narrow side, also free of gold splashes. The otherwise even distribution of the gold splashes around the body would have continued into these spaces, but the slight reduction of the surface (to remove a surface bubble, or perhaps caused by abrasion) has removed them, suggesting that they must originally have been very shallow.


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